Big Brush Creek - Bridge on FS road off Highway 8/111 to Highway 127

Big Brush Creek, Tennessee, US


Bridge on FS road off Highway 8/111 to Highway 127

Usual Difficulty III-V+ (for normal flows)
Length 8.5 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level

River Description

eric zitzow 2002-03-21 18:33:21
A very nice 2.5 to 3.5 hour run with a less than 30-minute (one way) shuttle. This creek holds water well. (See above for levels.)
About 1/2 way into the run look for the XX's on a tree to help signal you of a mandatory portage.
There are many drops and rapids that are unique. The river has a nice slot-and-drop mixed with more open rapids character. There a couple of dead-end slots so don't be in a big hurry. I could describe the harder drops in detail, but that would take the fun out of it.
Eric Z



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StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-09-27 14:13:26

Rapid Descriptions

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User Comments

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April 8 2015 (1139 days ago)
clay wrightDetails
Just off Big Brush at 2' on the take-out gage (nice wooden gage - look from river left upstream
side of bridge - great high level for this run! Fun fast class 2-3 lead in to a few ledges (one
tree portage easy to see but water level) then it starts building to 3 then 4 and on to slides up
to 4+ and then you hit the old XXX rapid - the xx's are gone but the undercut on right is still
hard to notice from above and the line looks like an easy drive left and boof - but we ran far left
booting left instead which was fun, a bit tight but smooth. From here it was game on class 4-5 with
some nasty rocks but many fun drops. We portaged a small part of one and then one long twisty rapid
that I'm not sure where we ever ran in the past.. today it was rowdy with a junky rapid into a huge
undercut boulder with little pool between them just below. Likely some line in the middle might go
but logs and the risk of the undercuts on the left just not worth it. More boat-scout and revolving
scout to 2 more hard drops we snuck / walked parts of and then 2 tight boofs into cracks on river
right marked the end of the burl but the action continued past numerous gravel road crossings and
little camps / houses before fading back to class 3 then 2 and then the old bridge piling in the
middle signals the bridge and takeout are just around the bend. Great long day of boating, a step
down from Henderson.. less ''classic'' than Cane/Chick but faster steeper and harder to boat-scout
down. Reminds me of Bee Creek or Jones in spots - a bit more volume on the grainy sandstone of the
plateau. Took us 3.5 hours most of which was in the steeper section 2/3rds of the way down. Would
likely be runnable at 1' and much easier to scout your lines. Clay
January 26 2006 (4498 days ago)
Chris GrissomDetails
Our group ran Big Brush at 1 3/8 rungs on the metal ladder on the downstream side of the put in
bridge 12-2004. Sequatchie at Dunlap 3000, Caney 1.7, Emory 8000. Good medium level, wouldn't want
it much lower. I suspect around 2 1/2 rungs the holes are going to get sticky. Class II-III for the
first couple of miles and then the action starts. Class IV - V creek with tight undercut boulder
gardens and a few blind slots. There are many places to get hurt on this creek, so take your time.
It is a long physical run and once the action begins, the rapids are non stop until the take out.
Our trip took 6 hours and there is a mandatory portage about 1/3 down. The creek veers sharply left
and drops out of sight. Look for a series of X's on several river left trees. Not a drop you would
want to blunder into. There is a logging road just up the bank on river right. Portage there.<br
If you like tight boulder choked rapids, Big Brush delivers. Sweet 15 minute shuttle. Oh, and don't
forget your elbow pads...<br />
Chris G<br />
December 1 2005 (4554 days ago)
Geoff KohlDetails
I was up there on Nov. 30, 2005 -- and though I was skunked, here are some details for the


TAKEOUT is the first bridge the creek comes to once it's off the mountain. That bridge is on Oak
Park Lane (I believe the name is correct). To get to that bridge, Take Hwy 8/111 from Dunlap, turn
right on the last road before you ascend the long road cut. The road immediately T's, so bear left
on Oak Park. First bridge is Little Brush Creek; you need to go to the second bridge for Big Brush.
There is some sort of rock company just before it. [If you're coming down the road cut (from the
put-in), this Oak Park Rd is the first left you can take once you've descended the highway road

To get to the PUT-IN, go back to Hwy. 8/111, and go up the mountain. Once you've ascended the
plateau, keep going (and going). You know you're getting close to your turn when you finally pass a
decent-sized gas station on your right. Keep a lookout for McCarver Road. There is a red-roofed
cabin structure at the corner of this road and the highway. Turn right and follow it. When it forks
(a very notable fork), bear right. Soon/immediately after this fork, you'll come to the first big
gravel road on your right. It has a sign up on a tree about 50 feet about "Illegal Removal of
Minerals". Turn right and follow this big (public?) road back for about 10-15 minutes until
you reach the bridge over Big Brush. It has planks lined up under your tires and metal pipes as the
hand rail. Lock your car and don't keep anything of value in it. Note: this unnamed gravel road has
some bouncy, rough sections. 4x4s not required, but don't take a car with low ground clearance.
Look out for semis carrying logs or rocks.

Time required for shuttle: about 30 minutes each way if gravel road is in good shape.



The gauge is at the put-in. The "gauge" is the ladder in the middle of the bridge on the
downstream side. The bottom rung is considered "1 rung". You can check the gauge from the
bridge. The rule is that 1-1/3 rungs is on the low side but doable. Not sure if this has changed,
there are gravel bars at put-in so it could flux some. Look for a visual: Is there enough water to
float over the rocks without coming close to scraping? Gauge used to be a piece of duct tape but it
seems to have washed away (that was 12 years ago, though).


LEVELS: (my best guesses)

If gauges are falling fast, then you should want to see Collins at 2,000 and Sequatchie at 1,800.
Daddy's would probably be around 1,300 and dropping.

AW has the Sequatchie gauge accidentally linked to Collins, so here's the real Sequatchie

If gauges are rising, water table is up, and you've had a big rain event, you could probably see
levels of half those or less and Big Brush will probably run. These gauges are down in the valley,
far downstream from the creek parts of their rivers, so they respond slowly.

It's considered a Day-After-North-Chick run, but that's only if the water table is up. If water
table is down, it's a day-of N. Chick run/immediately after N. Chick run. The run was formerly
considered to hold water very well, but recent clear cutting in the area may have made the run-off
drop faster.

Other options nearby if it's too low may be Cane Creek, Bee Creek, Caney Fork. If too high, check
out Little Brush or Cain/N. Chick.

Enjoy, and if you run it, please post what you saw on the nearby gauges when it was running.
Hopefully if we get enough data we can create a virtual gauge. Make this creek known; there once
was a popular proposal for damming up the gorge, and I'm sure there are some who would still like
to see that.
November 30 2003 (5286 days ago)
clay wrightDetails
Anyone know the Collins / Sequatchie levels to look for?

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